November 19, 2011
Considering how rarely it occurs, a Paul Bissonnette(notes) goal is a story all on its own, but that's not why the tough guy's first of the season, scored Saturday night as the Phoenix Coyotes visited the Buffalo Sabres, is such a great story.
Rather, it's because of who was there to see it: BizNasty's mom, Yolande, who was watching her son play for the first time in his 3-season, 111-game NHL career. From the National Post:
For the unknowable number of AAA minor hockey games Yolande has seen, and for all the games in the Ontario Hockey League, the American Hockey League and the ECHL, she has never once seen her son wear an NHL uniform in the regular season. Part of the blame lay with the unpredictability of his coach's roster decisions, but part of it has also been due to her health.
[...] She has been on sick leave for almost three years, and has been diagnosed with vasculitis, an autoimmune disorder.
However, Yolande has been feeling well for six or seven months now, and with Buffalo only being a short jaunt from the family home in Welland, Ontario, she and her husband, Cam, joined a group of more than 50 family members and friends driving down for the game.
Also among them: Bissonnette's 85-year-old grandfather, who was watching his grandson for the first time as well.
The Coyotes would go on to win the game, 4-2. It's probably safe to assume BizNasty's feeling pretty good about it, especially since his goal stood up as the game-winner.
It's also safe to assume he'll tweet something about it.
What a story. The Coyotes should reserve seats for the Bissonnette family every game. Ha, just kidding. They probably don't need to be reserved in Glendale.